4 Out of 5: Zack Seckler on New York

Zack Seckler is director of Lux Archive, an online art gallery that sells museum-quality limited-edition prints by fine-art photographers. This is his take on four places he likes, and one place he doesn’t.

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Taschen – “When I need a little relief from weaving through the Soho crowds, I like to take a breather and hit up this beautiful bookshop. Not only do they have art and photo books about almost any topic you can imagine (including those with a little dirt in their imaginations), they also sell the biggest book made in the 20th century. It’s a mere $15,000 for SUMO, the 78-pound book that comes with its own book holder and is almost guaranteed to cause some nasty paper cuts (Band-Aids not included).”

Lomography Gallery Store – “I’m not a Lomophile, but the photo geek in me gets excited whenever I pass by this spirited spot. If you’re like me, you’ll understand why the simple sight of cameras can be intoxicating. And yes, when I walk into this store, I do start to feel a little tipsy. It’s packed with the gadgets photographers drool over, but it’s also fun for the whole family. They’ve splashed camera designs on all sorts of chotskies; making great little gifts for that friend who spends way too much time on Flickr.”

Printed Matter – “After hitting the Chelsea galleries, I always make time to stop by this little gem for an additional shot of artistic inspiration. They have a fascinating array of rare books, magazines, and art ephemera that keep me entertained during every visit. Keep your eye out for the original 20th-century iMacs in the back!”

Bird – “When I want to splurge on some nice threads, I love hitting up this stylish outpost in Williamsburg. They have a great selection of clothes from top designers, and they regularly showcase work by talented artists. The owners have an excellent eye and definitely know how to curate a good show.”

NOT SO MUCH

Marquee – “After a long day at the museums, I definitely want to put a little night in my life — but unlike art, which can gain value with age, this spot’s appraisal has been heading downhill for awhile now. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this place back in 2004. But I think we can all agree it’s time for a little remodeling."

What You Can Expect From Alexa Chung’s New Show

A few weeks back, I mentioned that Alexa Chung is set to host a show about thrift shopping. In case you were wondering what Thrift America might be like, Style.com has released a video that features a shopping day with Chung in Williamsburg—a place she calls her “lover.” As expected, Chung brings her funny but awkward humor to every situation, which makes her fun to watch. She stops at her favorite neighborhood shops like Bird and Amarcord, and reveals her favorite thrift finds are sheepskin jackets and children’s school coats. The best takeaway from the video? Her view on the secondhand stench: “Don’t not wash it.” See the full clip after the jump.

5 Black Friday Sales To Look Forward To

The shopping situation in NYC will be so intense on Friday that ACES, the Ace Hotel’s train between New York and Atlantic City, is sprinting people up to Manhattan for the biggest sale day of the year. If you’re in A.C. for turkey day, or, on a more permanent basis, get on the special “shopaholics” train that leaves Atlantic City at 10:02 AM on Friday, and you’ll get a free tote bag to stuff purchases in and a 10% discount at the new ACE Hotel, if you want to make a weekend of it. Of course, a tote bag and 10% hotel deals aren’t the real reasons you should take the train into the city: the real reasons are, well, the sales. Here’s five spots to hit up for big (giant!) deals that are happening in New York:

1. Blue & Cream: 20 – 30% off designers like Yigal Azrouel, Rag & Bone and Charlotte Ronson.

2. Barneys: Each of the four locations will have sales on denim (Rag & Bone), shoes, and accessories.

3. Apple: Of course, nothing is official, but plenty of rumors are swirling around about discounts on iPods, Macs and gear. If anything you can check out the newest Apple store on the UWS.

4. Bird: 25 – 40 % off Alexander Wang, Loeffler Randall, and Commes des Garcons.

5. Opening Ceremony: 30 – 50% off in house brand styles

NYC Openings: Bird, Matthew Williamson, Zero + Maria Cornejo, QSW Mercer

Bird (Williamsburg) – Third Brooklyn outpost is sprawling, chic, and definitely not for the starving artist. ● Matthew Williamson (Meatpacking District) – Mr. Williamson’s first New York foray brings color to the western fringes. ● Zero + Maria Cornejo (NoHo) – Nolitist no more; fancy, light-filled new digs for Chilean sophisticate. ● QSW Mercer (Soho) – Boutique within Quicksilver with free bubbly.

Links: Tina Fey Rising, Brad Pitt’s BFF, Karl Lagerfeld Directs

● Tina Fey is America’s Sweetheart, at least according to Vanity Fair. How do you get to be America’s Sweetheart? Gain a bunch of weight in the writer’s room, then lose it all and become the most attractive lady at 30 Rock. [Vanity Fair] ● Brooklyn retailer Bird will open up a pop-up store in their new (still under construction) boutique starting December 5. The store proper won’t be open till early 2009, but owner Jennifer Mankins wanted to “showcase [her] favorite designers and artists during the holiday season.” [Fashion Week Daily] ● Who’s Brad Pitt’s BFF? Film director David Fincher. It’s a give and take relationship; Fincher gives Pitt a sense of creativity, while Pitt gives Fincher the clout to make dreary masterpieces that never break even. [USA Today]

● Karl Lagerfeld: fashion designer, photographer, now silent film director. Using members of his entourage (as Lagerfeld “cannot take extras”), he made a 10-minute silent homage to Coco Chanel. Why make a silent film eight decades after the medium has gone out of style? Lagerfeld says people are ready because “… they spend time — hours, I would say — looking at text messages and e-mails.” [WWD] ● Clive Owen and Julia Roberts team up for Duplicity; it’s like Closer with a dash of Ocean’s 11. [Youtube] ● Did Winona Ryder pull a Winona? Well, a diamond-encrusted bracelet and ring — loaned to her for an event — has gone missing. While her loaned dress is accounted for, the jewelry is nowhere to be found. Bailiff! Escort Ms. Ryder to her usual cell. [TMZ]